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mixed company




mixed company (uncountable)

  1. Men and women, both present at a gathering.
    • 1880, Charlotte M. Yonge, Clever Woman of the Family, ch. 5:
      "Imagine my one attempt at rational conversation last night. Asking his views on female emigration . . . ."
      "Perhaps the bearings of the question would hardly suit mixed company."
    • 1908, B. M. Bower, The Long Shadow, ch. 3:
      "Took 'er home all right, did yuh?" he leered, as if they two were in possession of a huge joke of the kind which may not be told in mixed company.
    • 2001 June 24, Leon Jaroff, "The Man's Cancer," Time:
      "Fifteen or 20 years ago, you couldn't even mention the word prostate in polite mixed company."

Usage notesEdit

  • Often used to indicate a social situation in which rude or other unseemly behavior is especially inappropriate.